FL - Edward Medard Park, a Hillborough County Park

Discussion in 'Florida' started by TheShulaShack, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. TheShulaShack

    TheShulaShack New Member

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    Good afternoon! Just got back from a weekend camping @ Edward Medard Park in Plan City, FL. I did not see any info about this park yet, so....

    Booking

    You cannot reserve this park in advance. You must register when you arrive, and it is first come, first served. Although I initially was sad about that, I quickly realized we had an actual chance of camping on short notice (we decided to go this weekend on Wed last week) because it was not otherwise reserved.

    You cannot reserve online or over the phone.

    Check in was a breeze (mostly because our friends drove down early and booked it for us)! =)

    Pets are allowed, as long as they are leashed and well behaved.

    It is $24 a night

    Here is some more info from their website -

    http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/pacampsiterentalsrks/rentals/.cfm

    About the Park

    Edward Medard Park extends along 1,284 acres owned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), where a water control structure and reservoir offer flood protection along the Alafia River. In 1972, under an agreement with the District, Hillsborough County developed this site as one of its largest and most popular regional parks.

    Although we didn't get to check it out, the park has a 700 acre reservoir that is opened to canoeing, boating and fishing! We did not get a chance to spend much time there, because we were using our camper as more of a hotel while we checked attended Hunahpu's Day @ Cigar City Brewery in Tampa. We are going to check out the canoeing next time for sure because it looks really awesome!

    Another awesome amenity - an 18 hole Frisbee (Disc) Golf Course! Here is some info about Disc Gold - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_golf but you basically play gold with a Frisbee and use the target as your "hole" The people playing looked like they were having a blast. Here is a pic of the goal/target. Definitely another thing on my to-do list! [​IMG]

    The park has 40 sites, some very large, some small, but all very nice. Again, they are first come, first served. You cannot book these online or over the phone.

    The Sites

    We were on site 35 and it was very large to what I am used to with Florida State Parks. If you are camping with a group, then it is the perfect site because site 34 and 35 have the same driveway. If you do not know your neighbors, then cross your fingers for nice people, because they are a little close. Most sites were not as close as ours was though.

    The sites are extremely shaded. We did not even have to put up our awning! =) I did not see too many sites in the direct sun. There are two loops, with 20 on each. Nice and small.

    Each site was equipped with a fire ring and picnic table.

    The only negative...the raccoon's are not scared to come right up to you (probably people feeding them). You can hear them rustling through the brush, and you have to scare them away by throwing something nearby them. They are not afraid of flashlights. They will DEFINITELY visit your campsite when you sleep, so make sure everything is put away. I left a gallon of spring water on the table, and they got into that...who knew!?!!

    Bathrooms

    Bathrooms were in the middle of each loop, almost right across the way from our site. The bathrooms are separated by gender, which two toilets and two showers for the ladies, and two for men. There were also handicap accessible bathrooms with a separate entrance with a private toilet, sink and shower. It seemed that using the handicap option was easier for most families. All sites were booked, but I did not have to wait in line to use the facilities at all.

    Very clean, but they ran out of toilet paper both days I was there. I have a porta potty in the camper that I use if the facilities are far, so I brought tp with me. I suggest you do the same.....just in case.

    Wrap Up
    Overall, I think this park is a great one! It is so beautiful, the pictures online do not do it justice. The park staff were really friendly, but honestly, we never really saw them. I heard of reviews that referred to them as very strict, but I am now surprised by that. I definitely want to go back and spend some time there to check out canoeing and disc golf. Besides some of the minor things, this is one of the best parks I have been too.

    IMPORTANT Alcohol is not allowed in the park. It seems that they do not really enforce it unless there is a complaint (not that we were really obvious about it).
     
  2. cuckoo

    cuckoo Active Member

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    You guys didn't fish? You know in these reviews if there is fishable waters you have to report it also... [;)] Linky broke...
     
  3. Craig57

    Craig57 New Member

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    Great report! I had not heard of this CG before. Most if not all of the water management districts have some camping. It difficult to ferret out the good ones.
    Thanks for the posting.
     
  4. TheShulaShack

    TheShulaShack New Member

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    No fishing this time...we were using it as a hotel on wheels more than camping [:D]

    Link is offically fixed, thanks for the heads up!

    See u at the rally, can't wait!
     
  5. Blackpot

    Blackpot Spit, grit & duct tape - What more do you need ?

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    I've been to this park as well. It is located off of Hwy 60 in Turkey Creek (?). It feels like it is out in the middle of nowhere, but it is actually in Brandon's (the town) back yard. It is a lot like camping in a state park as far as amenities go. They did an update of the bath houses about 4-5 years ago and the last time I drove through it was a pretty nice facility. Fire rings and a picnic table at each site. Hardly ever saw a ranger after check in and they were pretty friendly to talk to. We have seen Scout troops there every time we went, so seems as though it is a pretty secure park.

    The campground is a little separated from the day use area so there doesn't seem to be a lot of through traffic. It is build next to a reservoir and there are always folks either fishing from the shore, footbridge or small craft. The day use area has a small beach, several pavillions and a boat launch.

    This park is a very popular area on the weekends and, if you can come to camp a little early on Friday, you will stand a better chance of getting a site. The nearest public campgrounds that I can think of are Lithia Springs and Hillsborough River State Park.
     
  6. jjkach

    jjkach New Member

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    We didn't know this park was here either! We always camped at Hillsborough River State park. Nice review of the park.
    Always looking for somewhere new to camp. Thanks for the review!
     
  7. jeepinjimmy

    jeepinjimmy New Member

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    Medard Park is very nice, We camped there a month ago. My parents are there now in their Pup. They checked in last friday and staying thru wednseday. The frisbee golf was fun, We fished a lil bit but you need a boat right now cause anything shore or from the board walk has too many weeds. Lost 3 lures there. but if you are in the area and are wanting to camp, its perfect.
     
  8. Sharon

    Sharon Dover, FL

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    We live around the corner from this park, but have never camped there because we live a mile from there and can just take the boat over. I dont think I would try canoeing there because there were tons of gaters. but I dont know how it is since they drained it and refilled it.

    I might have to revisit it one of these weekends since it down the street. LOL

    Sharon
     
  9. Sharon

    Sharon Dover, FL

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    Update: On my visit to Medard park.

    I have not been in a while as I posted earlier because the park just wasnt that fun.

    But I have to say, I went last week, today and going again next week. As I live around the corner and this is my new fising hole. LOL!

    The park has changed a lot. The campground had a gravel drive way the last time I checked it out. And now its paved. But have to say, watch those trees. The road in the campground is one way and its very winding and narrow. They had bright pink markers on the trees letting you know they are close to the road so a really big camper might have a issue. So keep eye on that.

    As for the park itself. It has really become a nice park. They have built a lot of docks to fish from. Though out the park. On Burnt stump road. LOL!

    Also, the canoe rental is $25 for 4 hours. But again, there are a lot of gaters so please be careful.

    Fishing

    They have cleaned out the weeds along the waters edge when you can fish in several places form the banks or the new docks.

    Last week, the tilapia were on the beds. You could stand at the bank and just see them all along the edge in their holes.

    Today, was new moon so the fishing was great. We caught 8 bluegill 1 shell cracker and 2 shiners. And seen a ton of bass swim by.

    These is not a bait shop on the corner of Hwy 60 and Turkey creek anymore. And the closest one is Bill's bait and tackel on Hwy 92 towards Tampa which is just to far to go to get bait when I live around the corner from this park.

    So this is what you do. Go to the super walmart on HWY 60 and Mt. Carmel and go in the fishing section in the back by the garden, at the gun counter there is a little fridge by the register (You almost miss it) get the worms in the blue and white bucket. The other bucket is huge night crawlers. get a couple and keep them in your fridge or cooler to keep them alive for a few days so you don't have to run back and get more.

    Then go to Creature Castle Pet store on HWY 60 and St. Cloud and get crickets. You will need a cricket bucket. Get one at walmart. Crickets are 10 for 1.00 get the large ones. (You hook them from the bottom of their belly up ward) use light line, small sinker and number 4 gold hook and a small bobber.

    Then your ready to go fishing. Walmart is only 7 miles from the camp ground. There is one closer in Plant city on Hwy 39 if you just need worms.

    Here is a link to the map for directions to the walmart and creature castle.
    http://goo.gl/maps/Th8FR

    Sharon
     
  10. Wildwoodflower77

    Wildwoodflower77 Member

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  11. Sharon

    Sharon Dover, FL

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    We grew up swimming at Lithia Springs. We have never camped there. Our friends have and liked it.

    Your right, every thing out in that area seems miles away. LOL!
    Sharon
     
  12. Grizzly_Wayne

    Grizzly_Wayne Member

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    I camped at both of these places numerous times as a scout. All are nice parks with plenty to do for kids.

    I miss my tent camping days as a scout sometimes..
     
  13. CommaHolly

    CommaHolly New Member

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    I live in Plant City and had NO idea this was here,,,,,,,,,,,wow.
     

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